context

Ignoring the context

Here’s a link to get you up to speed.

White people often bring up “context” in defense of racism.

Miley Cyrus made the “slant-eyed” face but protested that people took it wrong and “out of context!”

The Tribune discontinued running a much “beloved” illustration called “Injun Summer” and noted its “innocence of context.”

A Villa Park council member, Deborah Pauly, was videotaped stirring the racist pot to a boil.  When confronted, she said the tape was edited to “completely change the context.”

Murray State University professor Mark Wattier thought two black students were late to his class.  His comment:  “Do you know why you were late? There’s a theory that a way to protest their master’s treatment was for slaves to be late.”  (Click the link to read the students’ version.) What did he say in his own defense? “My comment was inappropriate. I regret having said this out of context and bluntly.”

We’ve heard the “satiredefense numerous times before as well (see We Heard It Before #18).

Of course, I think that context is often difficult to understand.  Continue reading

thoroughlynot

Thoroughly Racist ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’

Screenshot of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” from another high school production on youtube.

Thanks to Mia Wenjen for covering this topic so thoroughly on her blog, I Love Newton.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” was a musical film from 1967.  It included a subplot about a hotel proprietor who dresses in yellowface and two nefarious Chinese henchmen.  It was developed into a musical 33 years later, and the racist subplot remained intact.

I was somewhat surprised that anybody would consider a remake of a dated movie to be a good idea, especially given the racism.  Of course, we’re only too familiar that white people find a great deal of entertainment in racism.  The entertainment value is often used as a defense of racism:  “But it was only meant in good fun!”

If you do a brief web search, you’ll find that “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is a popular choice for high school theatrical groups.  Undoubtedly because it’s so much fun.  Newton North High School chose it for its spring production.  Newton (MA) is predominately (82%) white, with an 11% Asian American population.  And although concerns were voiced before the musical was staged, it proceeded as planned.  Although a note about the “stereotypes” was listed in the program guide, apparently.  On page 49.

It’s been my general experience that when white people are confronted with their racism, they rarely will completely abandon the racist endeavor.  This is because they have too much invested in both the endeavor and the racism.

Continue reading

And it runs deep, part ii

In which resistance perseverates about internalized crap.

I am still angry with Questlove’s casual racism.  And I am upset by the reactions and non-reactions of others, which serves to inform about the state of post-racial America.

Because in post-racial America, we are still talking about how Asians are being offended rather than how white supremacy is being supported.  The former puts the blame on those pesky Asians.  So thin-skinned.  No sense of humor.  Chip on the shoulder.

The latter puts the crap back where it belongs. Continue reading

The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock

‘Continuing and significant internal and external stress’

He was awarded $38,000 for the trauma and suffering he experienced as a result of this event.  You remember the photograph and probably the video.  It was November 18, 2011:  A UC Davis cop pepper sprayed peaceful Occupy protesters.  The protesters received approximately $30,000 in a settlement with the University.

John Pike, the police officer, received $38,000.  He was also on paid leave for eight months before leaving the force in July 2012.

Story here.

advocate

The poisoned workplace

We’ve all been there. Because the poison runs deep.

The identification tags shown above are for an employee at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.  Maurice Walker has detailed five years of such abuse in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday against the hospital and his supervisors.  Among other things, the lawsuit details “racial taunts, stymied job promotion, and forcing him to wear official hospital ID badges with the image of Jimmie Walker.”

What was the hospital’s response?  Continue reading

hui

Sutchi Hui

On March 29, 2012, Sutchi Hui was crossing Castro Street when Chris Bucchere plowed through the intersection on his bicycle.  Hui, 71, was thrown more than 20 feet, suffered extensive injuries and died a few days later.  Bucchere was trying to set a personal best speed record.  He posted about the accident on a bicycling forum: Continue reading